No Calls on Planes

No Calls on Planes. It's the Law.

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 302) included a provision that states no voice calls will be allowed inflight. In the last 5 years, both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) have considered allowing some voice communications on planes. AFA successfully fought both of these efforts. 

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 was signed into law on October 5, 2018, which included the No Calls on Planes provision as stated: "The Secretary of Transportation shall issue regulations— to prohibit an individual on an aircraft from engaging in voice communications using a mobile communications device during a flight of that aircraft in scheduled passenger interstate or intrastate air transportation."

FCC and DOT Announced Plans to Reconsider Ban on Voice Calls on Planes


In November 2013, the FCC announced that it would reconsider the decades-long ban on the inflight use of cell phones. Expanded cell phone use would compromise Flight Attendants’ ability to maintain order in an emergency, increase cabin noise and tension among passengers, and add unacceptable risk to aviation security. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA opposed this ill-advised change. 

In December 2016, the DOT proposed rulemaking on Notification of Voice Calls on Aircraft. AFA President Sara Nelson said:

“The American public does not want voice communication in flight. Anything short of banning voice calls is reckless. It threatens aviation security and increases the likelihood of conflict in the skies. It threatens safety for crews and passengers. AFA will continue to press for a complete ban of inflight voice calls. No calls on planes. Period."

The DOT never took further action on this rulemaking.

Finally in April 2017, the FCC announced it would terminate its Inflight Calls proceeding. AFA said: 

"The FCC is making the right decision not to pursue lifting the ban on inflight calls. The traveling public and crew members do not want voice calls on planes. It would jeopardize safety, security, increase conflict and exponentially raise the annoyance level of everyone in the cabin. Now the DOT should follow the FCC's lead and ban voice calls inflight. That's the only sensible, safe and secure course of action."


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